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Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is a technique to assist you to live in the present moment, rather than regretting what may have happened in the pass or worrying about future events. Being present or attentive during a conversation, and or an activity can enhance the beauty and joy of the moment without judgment.

Meditation, yoga, dance or just sitting still are just a few activities that can assist you to become more mindful to the present moment. The goal is to connect to your present surroundings and acknowledge your emotions and feelings without labeling them as good or bad.

When was the last time you had a conversation with someone and you gave them your complete attention without engaging in another activity or thought during the conversation? We all have been programed to be ready with a response. It is very rare that we give our full attention to anything, even a short conversation.

It will take practice, but try to give your full attention to someone you are having a conversation with and notice how different it feels to be fully engaged and focused on the person you are listening to. This practice is not as easy as it seems.

There are structured mindfulness practices available to assist you in becoming more mindful. Check out the link below to listen to a few Mindful Moments, presented by Saybrook University to help you restore your well being during the day, and practice mindfulness.

References

Mindful Moments. https://www.saybrook.edu/mindfulness-moments/

Mindfulness, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/mindfulness

Featured

World Mental Health Day

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It was World Mental Health Day, on October 10, 2021. Personally, I think we need a whole month to reset. There is so much going on, and if you do not take time to unplug you may feel over whelmed and depressed.

There are a few things you can do to ensure you stay balanced, and well. Get enough sleep, without adequate sleep your body can not regenerate, and you are cranky.

Enjoy nature, and go for a walk, or ride your bike.

Interact with others, some of us have been isolated for so long that we need some physical interaction with other adults. Don’t forget to wear your mask, if you have not been vaccinated.

Find an activity or craft that you enjoy. I exercise, and it is a great way to increase your stamina and well being. I have a friend who builds bird houses, and another who loves to work in the garden.

Take a drive and enjoy the scenery. I have been taking short week-end trips to re-energize, it will change your outlook. Hint: leave your laptop at home.

If these things do not work, you may need to talk to a professional, especially if you have had suicidal thoughts, or feeling depressed for extended periods.

Therapist are now online. Here are a few links for your review. I can not validate the services but these links can help you get you started. https://www.betterhelp.com/get-started/

https://www.top10.com/online-therapy

Stay well and unplug, your mental health depends on it!

American Diabetes Month

November was American diabetes month, and a good time to review your lab with your provider to see if you are at risk for diabetes. During the holiday season the amount of sweets and unhealthy foods will be more available and tempting but please use some restraint, so you can remain healthy and well.

The lab test for diabetes requires blood to be drawn, to measure your average blood sugar over a three month period. This test is known as hemoglobin A1C, and will assist your physician to determine your risk for developing diabetes. If the A1C value is greater than 5.7 and less than 6.4 you are at risk for developing diabetes. Those with a A1C value greater than 6.5 will be treated as a diabetic, and be placed on medication.

Risk factors for developing diabetes, include : 1. A family history or 2. A women who may have developed diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or given birth to a baby that was over 9 pounds, or 3. Being over weight especially with a large girth (stomach), and inactive 4. High blood pressure, and or high cholesterol can be precursors to diabetes in conjunction with the elements above.

A small lifestyle change can make a big difference. Make water your drink of choice and increase your physical exercise and eat more fruits and vegetables. Maintain a healthy weight, minimize stress, get enough sleep, stop smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake can make a big difference. Alcohol adds additional sugar to your diet.

There are SERIOUS consequences that can occur related to diabetes, if you do not heed to the warning. This may include dialysis, amputation, blindness and or possible stroke or heart attack. Currently diabetes is a world wide epidemic.

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References:

Diabetes. (2022).https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/healthprotection/ncd/diabetes.html

Diabetic Risk Factors. (2022). https://heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/understand-your-risk-for-diabetes

Top 10 Risk Factors. (2022). https://rocketfacts.com/top-10-risk-factors-for-diabetes/?utm_content=3869801864&utm_source=bing-o&utm_campaign=399607003&gclid=23eac4ee6eef1214823ca7909d66d6ce&msclkid=23eac4ee6eef1214823ca7909d66d6ce

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month. Self breast exams are essential because most cancers are found by women during bathing. It is essential that you know what is normal for you and know how to recognize abnormal signs and symptoms (Cancer Center, 2022).

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Symptoms that should be followed up include the following: A lump, mass or change in the feel or position of the breast are among the most common symptoms of breast cancer. Swelling, redness or inflammation Changes in the nipple or nipple discharge or a change in color Pain in the breast Itchy or irritated breasts and or peeling or flaky skin.

It’s important to alert your doctor or health care provider as soon as you experience symptoms. Prevention includes clinical breast exam, self breast exam and mammograms. Early screening and prevention is key.

References

Cancer Center of America, (2022). Learn more about symptoms of breast cancer

MD Anderson. (2022). Mammograms & Breast Exams. https://www.mdanderson.org/prevention-screening/get-screened/breast-cancer-screening.html

Resilience…..

Resilience, the ability to bounce back after adversity or stress in your life. How resilient are you? That is a million dollar question. We all have had some adversity that has caused us to fall back and re-exam our circumstances. Resilience is a skill that can be developed over time. The question becomes how will you over come and will you let the circumstance keep you from your goal.

Resistance may manifest in several stages before you are able to move to the next level. Stress may cause illness, depression or feelings of sadness and rejection but once the shock wears off you have several choices. Of course, it depends on what has caused the stress, and this will is imperative as you evaluate your choices moving forward. If you decide to give up the goal, change the goal or move forward with a different strategy, be deliberate about your choice to avoid a half hearten recovery.

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To be resilient, one must be persistent and have tenacity to move forward, especially when obstacles continue to get in your way and your goal looks out of reach. It is easy to get discouraged, especially when the obstacles seen to be continual and the stress is affecting your health and well being. Managing your mental attitude becomes key to your success.

Stay persistent. Resilience may require you to reinvent yourself to achieve your goal with some modification. It is your life, be true to yourself and do not be deterred. Developing resilience can be the key to you are living deliberately and on purpose.
Review the articles below to assist you with developing resistance, utilizing the five pillars of resilience, self awareness, mindfulness, self care, positive relationships and purpose.

Reference

J. Ahlschlager (2020). Engage in the 5 Pillars of Resilience During Tough Times, https://insights.vitalworklife.com/engage-in-the-5-pillars-of-resilience-during-tough-times

Psychology Today, Resilience, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/resilience

Ethics and Integrity

It appears that ethics and integrity are no longer important in the fabric of the Unites States of America. Some individuals feel empowered to say and do anything to others without consequences. This includes law enforcement, the military and judges who appear to have no ethics and the public are left feeling like they have no recourse. It is not to say that it is getting worse, or that all individuals in these groups are bad people, but social media has put this bad behavior into light. These days corporations have been deemed to be “a person” by the supreme court thus giving them more rights than you and I have.

The global majority have suffered the brunt of discourse from these groups of individuals for centuries but with video this bad behavior is on instant display. They try to deny the truth and we just shake our head and wonder what will happen next.

The military and law enforcement seem to be moving down another path, many of them have accepted lies by political figures and are not using their sense of right and wrong as a compass. So when we say de-fund the police it is a whole lot deeper than you can imagine. They do not need tanks and chemical weapons to tame the public. How about a little respect for one another.

If your physician told you a lie and kept the truth from you and laws were passed to keep him from discussing the truth, one would be quite upset and wonder what benefit is that serving.

Unethical behavior has seeped into many parts of America life. It is seems that it is getting difficult to get people to do a honest days work without them trying scam consumers.

As a result, all this negativity can put a toll on those who unwillingly collide with these systems. Please take heed and remember to look at the bright side of humanity and expect the best even when you are handed lemons. Give yourself a few minutes to complain and come up with a plan to remedy the issue and move on. Life is short and you have to let go of the negativity and find joy and love for you and yours.

Peace….

Joy & Happiness

Are you experiencing enough joy in your life? The concept is so abstract that we forget we are responsible for our own joy and happiness. Many believe and want others to be responsible for our happiness.

Happiness and joy are self imposed and once you understand this concept, life gets easier and you have no unrealistic expectations for others.


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Children laugh and enjoy themselves daily. When was the last time you experienced joy?

Do something everyday that you enjoy. This is easier said than done when you have so many responsibilities to manage. This is especially true for the majority of women, who put themselves last. However, you should find something that brings you joy to ensure you do not miss the small miracles meant for you. It maybe a small gesture like eating a piece of chocolate or having a cup of coffee without being interrupted. This can be quite helpful during a stressful day.

Find your joy!

Are You Suffering from Insomnia?

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Are you having difficulty sleeping? It seems to be a common problem. I find if I nap during the day, it affects my ability to fall asleep and I am up all night. Insomnia can be exhibited in many forms, that includes difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakening or having refreshing sleep (Ni, 2008). There are other issues that may contribute to insomnia including pregnancy, menopause and sleep apnea, worry, too much caffeine, pain and or stress.

Sleep is important for the body to rest and regenerate. Insomnia can contribute to memory loss, lack of concentration and depression, which in turn can effect your ability to be effective at work (Ni, 2008). Insomnia can increase the risk of developing other chronic health issues related to stress, anxiety, heart disease, pain, depression and alcohol abuse.

The following tips may assist you with combating insomnia: Reduce your caffeine intake by avoiding coffee, soft drinks and chocolate or foods with MSG. Mediate before bed, or journal to document your thoughts to reduce anxiety and stress. Create a routine, by going to bed the same time every night. Exercise regularly but not before bed. Take a warm bath or shower. Eat yogurt one hour before bedtime it contains tryptophan that aids in sleep. Stay off the phone and computer prior to bedtime, this can stimulate you and cause insomnia.

Good luck, insomnia can be managed if you are diligent with your intention to have a good night sleep.

References

Ni,M. (2008) Secrets of Self-Healing. Insomnia, Penguin Group, New York, New York.

Insomnia Myths and facts (2022). Wed MD. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-avoid-before-bed

Hair Loss

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Hair loss can be devastating for all that have experienced it. It maybe the result of disease, stress, aging, nutrition, heredity or prescription drugs. Trying to find the reason for your particular hair loss can be a mystery.

The following medications can cause hair loss, anticoagulants, antidepressants, TB drugs, cholesterol lowering medications, blood pressure medication, medications used for arthritis and acne (Keen, 2022). If you are taking any of these medications talk with your physician about the issue so you both can decide what is the best course of action.

Some things can not be reversed such as aging, but those issues related to stress, poor nutrition or medication causing sudden hair loss maybe be reversed. There are many products on the market that claim they promote hair growth. As a result many have lost money and have had no results. Adding vitamin B or folic acid can be helpful (Keen, 2022).

Consult your hair stylist to assist you with maintaining healthy hair. They can also assist you in determining what maybe causing the hair lost.

Just keeping you informed!

References

Gardner, S. (2018). Female Pattern Baldness. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-an d-treatments/hair-loss/picture-of-female-pattern-baldness

Keen. C.(2022). Drugs that May Cause Hair Loss. AARP Bulletin. 63:6. p.10.

Aging Gracefully?

Some cultures celebrate their elders and have great reverence for those over 60, however in the United States, aging is not seen as something to celebrate. Advertisers gear ads to the young, and employers ignore older applicants, in favor of the young.

When we are young we believe we are indestructible and nothing can harm us. However, continued over indulgence, and prolonged risky behavior may have consequences on the body later in life.

Are you aging gracefully? My goal has been to age gracefully so I can continue doing what I enjoy. Take care of your body, your mind, eat well and exercise, and hopefully you will age gracefully.

Heat Exhaustion

Over exposure to heat can cause dehydration and exhaustion. It has been extremely warm this summer and heat exhaustion occurs when the body can not cool itself off. Wearing too much clothing in hot weather, exercising or working in the heat without adequate hydration can lead to heat exhaustion.

Some of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion includes weakness, nausea and vomiting. Heat exhaustion can lead to a heat stroke if it is untreated.

A heat stroke is a serious insult to the body, resulting in an increase in the body temperature of 104 degrees or higher. Individuals may experience a change of mental status, blood pressure, heart rate, headache, nausea and vomiting. A heat stroke is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and 911 should be called if anyone is experiencing these symptoms.

Here are suggestions to prevent health exhaustion:

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially when working outdoors or exercising.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol or caffeine during hot weather because both can cause dehydration.
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Enjoy the summer and drink more water!

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References:

Heat Exhaustion. (2022). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21480-heat-exhaustion.

Heat Exhaustion. (2022). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250

Benefits of Stretching

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Stretching is an essential tool to reduce injury when exercising. Stretching increases your range of motion, improves circulation, posture and reduces stress. I

As we age our activity decreases or changes and we do not utilize the same muscle groups. Think about the last time you touched your toes, or reached over your head without difficulty? Many times I feel like an old rubber band. No matter how much I exercise and stretch; my hamstrings are always tight.

I utilize a service called the Stretch Lab. Trainers are used to assist with passive stretch of the limbs and torso. Sessions can be scheduled in 25 to 50 minute intervals, weekly or every other week.

According to the website “StretchLab offers consumers more ways to reduce their risk of injury, regain mobility, improve flexibility and range of motion, and reclaim their freedom.” Stretching is essential to reduce injury and improve mobility when exercising. It also keeps you flexible and limber as we age.

Check it out the Stretch lab in your city, and try it for yourself. You will be glad you did.

Just keeping you informed.

Reference:

Mayo Clinic (2022). Health and fitness. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931

Stretchlab. https://www.stretchlab.com

Popliteal Cyst or Bakers Cyst

A Baker’s cyst by itself is usually not life threatening. However, it is a sign there there may be something wrong with your knee and may cause some discomfort and pain.

A Bakers cyst is a fluid filled sac that lies at the back of your knee. It can appear suddenly after an injury to the knee. The cyst communicates with the knee joint and fluid travels from within the knee, forming the cyst. (Pai, 2022).

The cyst is often diagnosed with a physical exam. However, because some of the signs and symptoms of a Baker’s cyst, it may mimic a blood clot, aneurysm or tumor (Baker’s Cyst, 2022). Your physicians may order an ultrasound or x-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

A Baker’s cyst may fluctuate in size but alternating an ice pack with heat and elevating the effective limb can be an effective measure. If the pain does not improve with these measures, see your physician.

Just keeping you informed.

References

Baker Cyst. (2022). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bakers-cyst/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369955

HealthPrep Staff (2022) Causes and Risk Factors of a Baker’s Cyst. https://healthprep.com/conditions/causes-risk-factors-bakers-cyst/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=370437808&utm_content=1266638077255350&utm_term=bakers cysts treatments&msclkid=e070c479a41e10a870cda6db9109fe3a

Pai, V. (2022). Should I be Worried About My Baker’s Cyst? https://vishalpai.com.au/news/bakers-cyst-knee

Trauma

Initially I wrote this blog to address the senseless murder of ten precious souls that were killed in Buffalo on May 14, 2022. But today on May 24,2022, two teachers and 19 children were gunned down at school. As a registered nurse I have provided care to individuals that have experienced physical trauma, i.e gunshot wounds, stabbings, car accidents and other traumatic injuries. During this initial insult, we forget about the mental trauma that also occurs as a result of these injuries.

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American’s are experiencing both mental and physical trauma once again by a mass shooter that demonstrated hate and disdain for others. This causes one to question how can those in power continue to sit and watch and do nothing to protect the citizens of this country? It is distressing and the reality that this behavior continues to happen, is incomprehensible. The hypocrisy is startling because the same individuals that claim to worry about the sanctity of life, want to instill fear and retain power over others. It must stop.

As a member of the global majority, I grow weary of Congress and others who pretend they care about my interest and safety. The lens in which they view the world continues to be opaque and diluted.

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I can confidently say all of us want to be free to live, thrive and enjoy our friends and families. We all have day to day activities that are required for us to live our lives to the fullest, and many are just trying to make it through the day. Either way, we all want to live without fear from those who foster hate and distrust.

No one wants to experience trauma at the hands of others. This issue is becoming too common and nothing has changed. Many states have loosened gun laws and one has to assume everyone has a weapon and that can be paralyzing for many including law enforcement. But, that is another story.

It is time for change. Aren’t you tired of hearing about senseless murders of Americans on the news? Think about all the gun related deaths that occur that are not covered by the media. Either way it is time for a new congress. It is time to retire the career politicians, because they have shown they do not care about their constituents. Everything appears to be about their personal agenda. It is time for action, people!

Please do your part and vote your interest because your life literally may depend on it.

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